This year, Tech is changing-up the location of the annual Freshman Cake Race as an effect of increased concern for students’ safety. Though a select group of students may protest, ultimately, there will not be a large reaction to the changing of Tech traditions until there is a cultural shift among students.
In certain contexts, the need for changes or altogether elimination of certain Tech traditions has been justifiable. Take for example both drown proofing and stealing the T. These kinds of traditions posed too great of a risk to student’s health for them to continue onward.
That being said, the Freshman Cake Race should fall well within the parameters of an acceptable and celebrated tradition. The race itself has changed over the hundred years it has been held. It began as a mandatory cross-country event, which has since become an opt-in short distance race, and students sign a waiver form acknowledging they are liable for any injuries incurred.
Unfortunately, a host of traditions feel like they have fallen to the wayside, and this may not be surprising looking at the school we attend. Compare Tech to a school such as University of Michigan, who has such a deeply-rooted Saturday football spirit that no student is ever working 24/7. Tech is different. The culture at Tech stems almost solely from our rigorus academics. As a result, the thing that seem to hold the student body at Tech together is the mutual suffering incurred among the masses.
All of this culminates in the apathy of students at Tech. Over the years, homecoming has become effectively limited to larger campus organizations, and with this, the overall spirit for homecoming has continued to fade. Until new precedents for homecoming take affect, we expect more traditions to continue to dissapear.